Sunday, 30 March 2014

Writing - Footprints

As you get older thoughts turn towards what we leave behind when we die. I'm not just referring to money but more the value our lives have had, in short we want to be remembered. But, irrespective of how hard we try, we still leave traces (footprints) as if we'd never bothered making an effort. Those signs are often small but nevertheless memorable. We shouldn't worry as our loved ones will pass on memories. 
My mother was conscripted during WWII to make parts for Lancaster bombers. My father was taken off the beaches at Dunkirk in the same conflict. Just two examples of what I'm talking about.
Of course some footprints are more tangible like the skeleton of Richard of York beneath a car park in Leicester and the latest discovery beneath London.

Skeletons unearthed in London Crossrail excavations are Black Death victims from the great pandemic of the 14th Century, forensic tests indicate.
Their teeth contain DNA from the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis and their graves have been dated to 1348-50.
Records say thousands of Londoners perished and their corpses were dumped in a mass grave outside the City, but its exact location was a mystery.

Start Quote

This discovery solves a 660-year-old mystery. It's a hugely important step forward”
Jay CarverLead archaeologist, Crossrail
Archaeologists now believe it is under Charterhouse Square near the Barbican.
Part of the dating process was down to some pottery found near the bodies from the same period. So everyday objects, someone's favourite bowl perhaps has led to the discovery of long lost bodies which will be re-buried with due respect.
Then there is the very significant story of the music that is happening in Afghanistan including a 19 year old female rapper called Ramika. Under the Taliban music and self-expression was banned but now there is an active music course in Kabul. 
Ramika Khabiri
In Afghanistan, young rappers gathered in Kabul earlier this month to compete to create a rap anthem for April's presidential elections.
Ramika, a 19 year old female rapper from Kabul, was among the competitors, with a rap about the importance of participating in the elections.
The Taliban have threatened those who go to the polls, but many youngsters in Afghanistan say they are planning to defy such intimidation.
What are the Taliban afraid of? Humans leaving signs of individuality perhaps, a change of culture, or people's right for self-expression.

Flight MH370

The missing aircraft that has dominated the news for three weeks has still not left any footprints of its own. Some objects believed to be from the carcass of the aeroplane turned out to be nothing more than sea rubbish!

It seems that the human race is continually making footmarks and of differing significance. Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK sometimes termed Refreshment Sunday, and it is the second time I've watched the celebrations with feelings of detachment as my own Mam died eighteen months ago. To celebrate her passing I reprint the poem.

  One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
             Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
                  In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
                       Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
                           other times there were one set of footprints.
                                  This bothered me because I noticed
                                that during the low periods of my life,
                             when I was suffering from
                         anguish, sorrow or defeat,
                     I could see only one set of footprints.
          So I said to the Lord,
      "You promised me Lord,
         that if I followed you,
             you would walk with me always.
                   But I have noticed that during
                          the most trying periods of my life
                                 there have only been one
                                       set of footprints in the sand.
                                           Why, when I needed you most,
                                          you have not been there for me?"
                                 The Lord replied,
                          "The times when you have
                  seen only one set of footprints,
          is when I carried you."
God Bless